About the Las Cuevas
Coral reefs and other fragile ecosystems could be adversely impacted by increasing levels of carbon dioxide (CO2). To date, no regional measurements in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Ocean have been available. In 2009, the Global Carbon Group at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML), in collaboration with Methanol Holdings LTD and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), outfitted the commercial tanker Las Cuevas with an automated system to measure surface pCO2, temperature and salinity levels in the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. The release of fossil fuel CO2 to the atmosphere leads to the "acidification" of the worlds oceans. By fully characterizing the surface carbonate chemistry of the upper ocean over time, scientists can more accurately quantify the environmental effect of ocean acidification on the marine ecosystem.
About this Web Site
This web site provides access to the data collected onboard the Las Cuevas. The data are organized by year and by cruise. For each cruise, a graph showing the pCO2 values plotted on the cruise track is shown. Next to each graph are links to the comma-delimited data file and associated Readme text file. To download a particular file, select the year from the drop-down list box and click on GO. Select a cruise, right-click on the link to its data file and select the download option. The same procedure can be applied to download the Readme files. The Realtime Display link consists of plots of the data as they are received and is mainly used for troubleshooting. The realtime data has not been quality controlled and should not be used for scientific purposes. The first two Realtime Display plots represent raw (unprocessed) xCO2 data as a function of time and location. Other links in the menu bar on the left provide contact information and return access to the AOML GCC homepage.